We have all seen the image of Mark Zuckerberg’s computer in the background featuring a piece of tape directly over the webcam on his laptop to ensure webcam privacy.
This started a trend of “if Mark’s doing it, then everyone should do it!” and tape over webcam’s started popping up all over the place. The reason most people do it, besides trying to be more like Mark, is the privacy issues associated with having a camera pointed at you all the time. Hackers could attempt to take over the webcam on your device to record you or do other nefarious things with your images.
The tape is a little bit of a hokey band-aid solution to the problem and can ruin the aesthetic of an otherwise beautiful piece of machinery. Recently a startup invented a solution to the problem and released the Nope Webcam Privacy Shield. The device uses magnetic technology to shield the webcam on iMacs, Macbooks, laptops, and desktops.
According to the company, one magnet of Nope is attached to your computer with thin 3M VHB tape. The other magnet is held in place by attractive magnetic pull. There is a thin space between the magnet and the computer, so the magnet does not touch the computer while moving or in place. It partially levitates and only a small part is held by magnetism. The magnetism is strong enough to hold and stay in place and not so strong as to damage or affect any electronics.
The reviews of the device are currently mixed, so it’s hard to tell if it will work well for each individual person. It seems like a great concept and doesn’t seem to interfere much with the design of the devices.